- William Pencak
Faneuil, Peter (20 June 1700–03 March 1743), merchant and philanthropist, was born in New Rochelle, New York, the son of Benjamin Faneuil and Anne Bureau, French Huguenot refugees who left Rochelle in France following the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685. Benjamin Faneuil and two brothers took considerable wealth with them and became freemen of Massachusetts Bay in 1691. Benjamin Faneuil eventually settled in New Rochelle. When he died in 1719, his sons Peter and Benjamin and daughter Mary moved to Boston to be raised by their uncle Andrew Faneuil. Peter Faneuil’s first claim to fame occurred in 1728 when he helped his brother-in-law Henry Phillips escape to France after he killed Benjamin Woodbridge in the first duel ever to take place in Boston. More mundanely, he assisted his uncle in running a lucrative mercantile establishment that traded with Antigua, Barbados, Spain, the Canary Islands, and England, to name only a few places from which Faneuil’s correspondence survives. Not all of his trade was legal. When in 1736 his ship ...